Published: 23/08/2012 02:00 - Updated: 23/08/2012 06:41

Fort net County starlet on loan

FORT William have bolstered their squad with the addition of young Ross County starlet Martin Groat.

The 17-year-old has agreed a one-year loan switch from the SPL club to Claggan Park and he has shone as a trialist against Fraserburgh and Nairn County in the past fortnight.

Manager Danny Conlon said: "We're delighted to get Martin on board. Despite his age, he's come through the system at Ross County, so arrives with a good pedigree and footballing background.

"He's also versatile. He played at right-back against Fraserburgh then in right midfield against Nairn and he's been terrific."

One player on his way back to fitness for Fort is Darren Duncan, who missed most of last season with a knee injury.

The boss explained: "Darren's been to see a specialist and it seems that the rest has worked wonders for him and he can start light training soon. With any luck, he could be back within two months.

"He can play at left-back or in left midfield and when he does return he'll be like a new player for us, which will be great."

Fort have no competitive fixture this weekend as the William Hill Scottish Cup action gets started for Highland League clubs.

Fort's interest in the competition ended in the preliminary round when they lost 3-1 to East of Scotland Premier League team Preston Athletic, who will host Nairn County on Saturday.

Nairn travel south in high spirits after their 5-1 league win at Fort William at the weekend.

Conor Gethins opened the scoring before David Watson made it 2-0 before the break.

Darren Quigg netted from the spot early in the second half, but Robbie Duncanson restored the visitors' two-goal lead.

Gethins bagged his second of the afternoon and Steven Ellis rounded off the scoring for Nairn.

Conlon, however, was gutted that the scoreline was so harsh after his young side more than competed with Les Fridge's side.

He said: "Anyone looking at the result would think we'd got a real thumping, but that was far from the case. For 60-65 minutes, we competed very well with Nairn.

"We lost a bad goal just before half-time when we lost possession and they went up the park and scored, but we got back into it with the penalty after the break.

"The third goal was the killer for us, that really deflated us and the game then ran away from us. While that shows how good a side Nairn are, it shows that we can afford to make bad mistakes like we did. Overall though, we played very well and can be encouraged by our performance for most of the match."

The Fort manager also reckons that results in the opening few weeks of the season point towards a season of plenty of shocks.

He said: "You look at Wick Academy. They were top of the table yet they lost 6-0 against Deveronvale on Saturday. Who would have predicted that?

"There have been a few bizarre results and that will make for an interesting season."

Fort will take on a welfare select tomorrow (Friday) at Claggan and return to league action a week on Saturday when they go to Keith.

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